Thursday, February 19, 2009

Mission Week

Hello all,

Cantus is in the middle of our Mission Week: a chance to get out to Twin Cities area schools to sing for, and inspire, choral music students. Thursday was spent at Robbinsdale Cooper High School with 5 great choirs full of students who asked great questions and laughed along with Cantus for 90 minutes. Thanks again, Cooper students, you were great!

Wednesday saw Cantus at Robbinsdale Armstrong High School, singing for, and working with, the concert choir there. We heard two great pieces and the students responded so well to all of our coaching. Way to go Armstrong!

Friday we'll be in River Falls, WI and next week Cantus heads to the East Coast for a 2 week concert tour, including stops in NYC and Vassar College. Check back for more updates.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Blog Updates!

So we updated our blog a little bit recently! Our blog is going to focus not only on our fantastical adventures on tour, but many other things, including happenings at home, information about new and veteran singers, our musical process, and each member's current musical interests. If you want to see any one type of post, just check out the labels to the right.

We'll be writing in this blog regularly, so check back often. Or, if you're really into Cantus, subscribe to updates or become a follower of Cantus Tales via the bar on the right!

That about covers it. Talk to you all later!

Hurdy Gurdy!

I thought a lot about what I would put into my first music post, so I decided to focus on a new CD I heard last week! I love to go to Minneapolis' Central Library down at the bottom of Nicollet Avenue and search for new and interesting albums. While I was looking at the instrumental music, I came across a very interesting looking CD cover with the words "Hurdy-Gurdy" and "Prototyp" on the front. Usually when I can't tell which is the band name and which is the name of the CD I put it back, but it looked interesting, and I couldn't remember the last time I heard a hurdy gurdy. The hurdy gurdy is more or less a mechanical violin, where the strings are "played" by a wheel underneath them while a keyboard on the side changes the strings' pitches. Here's a picture explaining the different parts:

When I got home, I slid it into my macbook and listened. It seemed completely electronic underneath the almost bagpipe-ish sound of the melodies! But when I read the CD jacket, the group (whose name IS Hurdy-Gurdy it turns out) said all the sounds on the CD were made organically from the sounds their hurdy gurdies made. If you get a chance, you have to check it out. Here's a youtube video of Stefan Brisland-Ferner from Hurdy-Gurdy playing "Delirium" from the Prototyp album:

Have fun, and check in again soon!